Saturday, August 20, 2011

How To: LinkedIn Connections

Three Ways to Personalize Your Request to Connect

What is LinkedIn?  LinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals looking to connect with other professionals.  LinkedIn defines itself this way, "LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals."

LinkedIn prefers these professionals connect with people they know and trust.  Many of us find that keeping an open mind and connecting with professionals we haven't met, but would like to connect with is of benefit too.  Count me among those.  Because we share and exchange information, as well as contacts, I prefer not to limit myself to those I have met in person.  To me that seems very restrictive.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Curious What #FF Means In Twitter?

Social media is changing and evolving constantly.  One problem participants have is the new trends that are always popping up.  It can be difficult to keep track of what everything means. 
This one has been around for a while, but if you are new to twitter it may be confusing.  Are you wondering what the #FF is you see used on Twitter? 
FF or #FF (with the hashtag) means Follow Friday. Follow Friday is a tradition where Twitter users help their followers find new followers each Friday. By tweeting their @name out to your list, they get a little exposure with your followers as well as their own followers.  Usually they will do the same for you.
All you need to do is tweet #FF and the @names of the followers you want to feature. Help out a friend this Friday by giving them a shout out. If you send me your @name (through a direct message through twitter or an email) I will send out a #FF this Friday for you to all of my followers.

What are other terms or slang you see that are confusing or you can share their meaning with us?

Follow me: or @MktgPathways

Cindy Neky
Email Cindy

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Who is My Target Market? (And Why I Should Care)

One of the most common marketing mistakes I see small business owners make is not determining who their target market is.  Or perhaps, more often, they don’t use this information when determining a marketing plan or when it comes time to make essential marketing choices. 

Chances are you know who your target market is, but how often do you use that powerful information to make important marketing decisions?  And how often do you remember to structure your strategic marketing plan around this critical target market?  The answer should be-always.

Simply put, your target market is the most likely buyer of your product or service.  There may be many possible buyers of your product or service, but there is always one type of buyer that stands out.  This is true whether you sell to consumers or to other businesses.

Look at the demographics and characteristics of your buyers.  Do they all fall within a certain age group?  Are they primarily from a certain area of town or the country?  Do more men than women purchase your product?  Do most of them exercise regularly?  Are they avid sports enthusiasts?  List all the distinct qualities your best customers have.

Once you have drilled down to the most specific attributes of your best customers, you know who your target market is.  When you know that, marketing for a small business becomes much simpler.  Why?  Because then the decisions you make in regards to marketing strategy become clearer.  This is where you spend your money in marketing.

One marketing tip you should know is how to use target market knowledge to keep you focused.  If a sales person from a magazine or radio station approaches you about advertising, you will know whether they are a good fit by who their target market is.  If the radio station targets 20-35 year old males and your customers are 35-50 year old females, it isn’t a good fit, no matter what type of a deal they offer.  See how much easier your decision became?

Don’t forget who your target market is and you will be making the right marketing decisions for your small business.  Small business marketing isn’t so tough if you remember who you are trying to please-your target market.

What do you think?  Do you use target market data to make your marketing decisions?  Any other thoughts on this topic?

Cindy Neky